US GDP growth – One extreme to another

The BEA will release tomorrow its first estimate of US GDP growth in Q1. Consensus estimate for the quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualised rate of growth is -4.0%. If correct this would imply that growth in Q3 and Q4 2019 was effectively wiped out and that GDP in Q1 2020 shrank by annualised $200bn. The estimates span from -0.3% to -10% –

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Governments and policies adapting to critical known unknown

We argued in Lack of US market & macro volatility both reassuring and troubling (17 January) that “the market’s willingness to look through domestic political and geopolitical events suggests that only a significant exogenous or endogenous shock currently beyond markets’ radar screens (an “unknown unknown”) is likely to really move the needle”. That unknown unknown, a “black swan” event, has

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Global growth shaken, central banks stirred

The drastic measures which governments across the world have taken so far to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus have few precedents outside of war times and therefore quantifying their economic, financial and social impact remains challenging. However, there is little doubt that economic activity in China, the epicentre of the epidemic, has slowed sharply. Disruptions and delays to international

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Virus, volatility and valuations

In reaction to the coronavirus epidemic governments across the world have enacted measures unprecedented in recent decades, including closing national borders, setting up quarantine zones, restricting travel and closing factories and schools. Economic activity in China has slowed sharply and disruptions to international supply chains are impacting global trade and production with the slump in tourism heaping further pressure on

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